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Questions Answered by Richard Sternberg
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: how to deposit a cashiers check when the payee is deceased

The cashier check is made out to the deceased and drawn on the deceased bank account. The deceased bank account is frozen.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 29, 2022

You will need to make a claim in the deceased's probate estate, assuming there is an estate. If the account has a beneficiary and there is no estate, you may be out of luck. Consult legal counsel if the check is big enough to be worthwhile.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: how do you sue a condominium association in maryland? The president lives out of state.

The condo documents filed in 1982 list a resident agent, but his wife indicates that he has had no contact with the association since 1982 and suffers from dementia.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 23, 2022

You can look up the resident agent at SDAT, since it was likely updated when the entity filed annual reports, or you can serve an officer, or you can serve SDAT if there is no resident agent, or you can move the court to grant substitute service. You start by reading the rules of civil procedure.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My ex put me on his deed in N.C. In 2008. In 2011 did a gift deed my name is still on it unknown to me do I have legal ?

This was all done without my knowledge or even being notified I know as far as nc register of deed has me as a grantee the gift also has my name. I honestly don’t know what to do with this info Any advice

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 21, 2022

Consult NC counsel. You probably have substantial rights.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have squatters living next door for a year. Their waste water is entering my basement. How can I remove them?

The original owner died and the home was vacant. Can I use the nuisance property ordinance to remove them?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 15, 2022

Interesting situation… and that’s not the kind of thing you want to hear from your lawyer. But, there may be an easier approach. Here’s the bad news: their status as squatters probably doesn’t matter unless you can get the cooperation of the title owner through his estate or through... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How to transfer a deed in puerto rico notarized in Pennsylvania
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 12, 2022

You need to consult a Puerto Rican lawyer of title agent. While the notarial seal of another US jurisdiction is likely to be honored, the jurisdiction where the land lies will have transfer rules, filing requirements, and tax protocols to follow.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: My brother died in September in Las Vegas without a will. He has one daughter in California and me, his sister, in MD.

No spouse, no living parents. He owns 1/2 his house which was just sold, some precious metals, and cash. Does his daughter get all of it, or am I entitled to any, and how much?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 7, 2022

The answer will depend on the law where your brother was domiciled when he died. If he was living in Nevada, you need a Nevada lawyer. In all likelihood, by the most common intestate succession framework, his primary heirs are his spouse (whom you don’t mention) and his issue (the daughter).

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Are sellers in MD required to disclose cracks in an in ground pool to potential buyers if the home is sold "as is"?

Several large cracks that are leaking were discovered upon trying to open our pool. The Pool was closed and covered during the inspection when we purchased the home. These cracks are very visible. Current repair estimates are $30k plus labor, pool draining and refilling. We would not have purchased... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 4, 2022

You need to look carefully at the disclosures and the advertising as well as all other correspondence to look for misrepresentations. There are several categories of cases, but you aren't in the easiest of them. It's not going to be an easy latent defect case if the cracks are very... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How to find out if my deceased father left anything for his children
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 26, 2022

Have you asked your siblings or (step-)mother or other relatives if there is a Will or someone is filing probate? Did he have assets, and should you file as Administrator? A consult with a lawyer discussing your situation might be helpful, and, if that lawyer opens the estate, you’ll be repaid... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Rental property in Virginia that needs to be fixed but renter is not ready to pay.

Hi i have a rental property in Virginia. The tenant has moved out after the lease completed. They did not do a wakthru. There is mold and appliances have been abused. the repairs are more than the deposit amount. they are refusing to pay. what are my options.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 23, 2022

You can ask politely and be ignored; or you can document the evidence, send a demand letter, and sue.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How do I go about changing bank accounts set up for funds collected from rental of my mother’s home to a trust account?

My mother (and father) are deceased, and my brothers and I rent her home in Virginia, using a property manager there who rents and manages the care of the house on my behalf (I live in Washington state). From the funds I collect monthly from the rental, it all goes into an account(s) from which I... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 17, 2022

Set up a trust. It won’t be hard, but it’s not a DIY project. Get Virginia counsel.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: I would like my son to inherit my mother’s home instead of myself. Can I do this if she is unable to amend trust?

I am trustee and beneficiary of my mother’s revocable trust, also POA. My husband and daughter are listed as beneficiaries if I were to die, but my sons are not.

Mother is in a memory care facility with dementia.

As trustee, if the three of us sign a disclaimer, am I allowed to... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 16, 2022

There are often opportunities for tax savings as well as better planning in this sort of setting, but much depends on what the trust says. I see you are across the border in York, PA. I can refer you to someone, but you need a Pennsylvania admitted trusts and estates lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Maryland on
Q: My uncle is the executor of my parents will she is refusing to give me my trust and won't contact me

She is the executor of the will saying he will donate and not give to me I really need help and I really need help getting my trust cuz my uncle is trying to keep it from me and I don't know what to do

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 8, 2022

There is no reasonable way to evaluate your position without reviewing the trust document to determine the trust instructions and, potentially, formation issues and breaches of fiduciary duties. Schedule a consult with a qualified lawyer.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed away April 10th in Maryland

My mother passed away April 10th, I went to the court and found out that she had a Will. Looking at the Will I noticed that I was not listed at all on the WILL and as being her only child I found that odd. when she became sick she made her friend her POA, she felt she was able to be there for her.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 7, 2022

Of course you can challenge the Will. It is not an easy process, but if there was undue influence, lack of capacity, or the signature isn't genuine, those are all grounds to caveat the Will. You will have no chance of success without legal counsel, and you will almost surely need to pay... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My stepsister sold house that my dad and her mom owned together without permission from her stepsiblings. No will. Ok?

Dad died in 12/2020 and her mom died early 2022. To my knowledge neither had a will. They live in Virginia.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 7, 2022

You might want a consultation with a Virginia lawyer to review the matter, but if the house was owned by dad and step-mom by entireties, and dad died first, the house belonged solely to step-mom when she died. I would think in a second marriage, the parties would title their home better, use a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How do I start divorce proceedings while married, living together, with minor children when the spouse refuses to leave

I want to divorce my husband. He refuses to establish a separation date, so I can’t do a no fault divorce. We live in my fathers house, it’s paid off, and will come to me upon his death through inheritance. There is no established rental agreement. I believe my husbands plan is to wait until he... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 5, 2022

There are a couple answers, and some of your fears are unfounded. The likely easiest is to file for separate maintenance and a landlord-tenant action to evict if needed. You do, however, need counsel to get all the facts and plan an appropriate strategy.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have a sales contract for my house. I wrote the contract with the Disclosure for an as-is sale. Buyer rejects

There are multiple initials and signatures missing from the contract, including hers is missing on the page noted above (AS-IS). Post-inspection and appraisal (for a USDA loan), she states that that disclaimer is not part of the contract, and means nothing.

In an addendum, different... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 3, 2022

The contract is the last version that you both signed. Your earlier drafts don’t matter except to explain the contract. You need a lawyer to review your contract.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Q: Neighbor next door has us constantly moving our vehicle to access water shut off in middle of our driveway.

Shouldn’t they have a shut off valve on their property? Since the property was recently sold or in process of shouldn’t this be remedied? Easement in question.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 21, 2022

The only way to get a competent answer to this is to review the deeds and the survey. If I assume that the water cut off is in the utility easement, then the utility has the permanent right to access that cut-off on your property within their easement as often as needed. The cost of changing that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Can a person advertise property for sale that doesn't belong to them if they don't have permission from the owner?

My sister-in-law advertised my husband's land for sale without his knowledge or permission on a Facebook Online Yard Sale with her name and contact info. She is not a real estate agent, and has never held a real estate license and has no ownership interest in the property. She also told a man... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 11, 2022

You are going to need a WV lawyer, and I am only licensed in Virginia as well as DC and Maryland. Nevertheless, you can't sue for damages unless you are damaged, but your husband can give her a proper notice to stay off the land if he owns it and she does not. As to unlicensed advertising of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: A 14 acre deed from grandparents, inherited by 9 brothers/sisters, 3 are alive. We are entitled to 1.5 acre. No will.

Or declaration of heirs. 24 houses have been constructed and no one wants to pay Crim, up to $30k owe.

How do I begin this journey to obtain what is mine?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Property generally does not descend as you are anticipating. There is generally no right to a specific 1.5 acres or $30,000. What you have — assuming you are a common co-tenant of the whole by descent— is the right to partition or to sell in lieu of partition. That requires a settlement or a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: What is the definition of lease term?

After proper notification of termination of Virginia Association of Realtors Property Management Agreement, can prior property manager continue to collect management fees after new lease agreement is made with tenant by new property manager.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 5, 2022

It depends on what the contracts you signed said. Either read them yourself or retain counsel to help you understand them. It's not a bad idea to read them before you sign them, too.

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